1 – Introduction
2 – Terminology
3 – General Internet Policy
4 – Email Policy
5 – Hardware
6 – Software
7 – Prohibited behaviour
8 – Cyber misconduct
9 – Server security
10 – CCTV
11 – Laptops (School property)
12 – Cellphones (Non – Learners)
13 – Cellphones (Learners)
14 – Ownership and Privacy
15 – Personal responsibility
16 – Policy Amendments
17 – Undertaking of compliance
INFORMATION AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY
This document is the policy for the Information and Computer Technology Systems, as well as the Social Media of South Peninsula High School. This policy was written in accordance with The Constitution of South Africa, 1996; the South African Schools Act 84, of 1996; Regulation 27 of the National Education Policy of 1996; applicable Provincial Regulation with regard to school education, and the Law Regulating the Interception of Communication and the Provision of Communication Related Information 70 of 2002.
The aim of the policy is to regulate the use of the school’s Information Systems with regard to the communication of any information, as well as the applicable use of social media platforms by educators, non-educators, and learners. The school acknowledges the development of social media as a means of communication, but at the same time realises that it can only be used optimally if it is used responsibly.
The school respects the privacy of the educators, non-educators and learners. However, this privacy does not include their work-related conduct or the use of the equipment, resources or supplies of the school.
According to the Law on the Regulation and Interception of Communication and the Provision of Communication Related Information 70 of 2002, any person may intercept any communication in the instance where they are party to the communication, unless said person is intercepting the communication for unlawful activity.
The school may thus intercept any communication which is sent through the school’s Information Systems or Social Media platforms, as well as any school related infomation.
This policy is relevant to all users of the school’s Information and Computer Systems. It also applies to the voicing of opinions and commenting on social media by educators, non-educators and learners who may, in any way, be associated with the school. Any person who works with the Information System within the school structure is accountable for the information which is documented in this policy.
2.1 Information System: The system which consists of all communication channels which are used in the school.
2.2 ICT: Information and Computer Technology.
2.3 Intercept: The acquiring of the content of auditory, or any other, communication in any manner to make it available to someone other than the sender or intended recipient and includes the:
2.3.1 monitoring of any such communication by means of a monitoring apparatus;
2.3.2 viewing, investigating or inspecting of the content of any indirect communication; and
2.3.3 diverting of any indirect communication to another destination, other than the intended one.
2.4 School: The Governing Body, as well as any person to whom authority or a specific function has been assigned in accordance with this policy.
2.5 School management: The principal or a member of the school’s staff to whom the principal has delegated authority.
2.6 Social media: The means of interaction between people during which they create information and ideas which they share and exchange in virtual communities and networks. Social media may include text, audio material, video material, visual material, podcasting and other multimedia communication.
2.7 System hardware: Any mechanical or electrical apparatus which is connected to the computer system, including the central processing unit and additional or subsidiary apparatus such as printers and external disc drives.
2.8 System software: Computer software which was designed to run, and manage, the computer hardware and provides a platform on which application software can function.
The school’s computer and communication systems are generally for official use only. Nonetheless, occasional personal use is allowed in the instance where no more than a fraction of the number of resources are used which would otherwise be used for official use; does not interfere with productivity; does not distract from school activities; does not cause distress, legal or moral problems for the school’s – as well as other – educators, non-educators and learners.
All system hardware and software is the property of South Peninsula High School. The school is the legal owner of the content of all the files which are stored on its computers and network systems, as well as any messages which are sent by means of these systems. The school reserves the right to access this information without prior consent where there is an operational need to do so. No educator, non-educator or learner, may copy, at any given time or circumstances, any information or data that is stored on the network for personal gain. Information and data that is stored on the server may not be shared with any instution without prior consent of the principal.
The school reserves the right to audit the systems from time-to-time to ensure this policy is adhered to. The school may, at its own discretion, investigate, move or delete files, including electronic mail (e-mail), for maintenance purposes or in the instance where the files are disrupting the system, whether purposefully or not. The school strictly prohibits the use of illegally acquired media on the systems – this includes the use and distribution of pirated movies. The school gives no guarantee, categorically or implied, for the services it provides.
The school will not be held responsible for any damage suffered on this system, including the loss of personal data, due to system interruptions or the irresponsible use of the system. It stays the individual’s responsibility to make backups of his/her documents that are stored on his/her computer. The school is not liable for any offensive material which any user may access through the school’s system.
Internet access is available to all South Peninsula High School’s employees where there is a justifiable need. All internet connections will be provided by the approved internet provider. All other connections are prohibited. It includes any 3G connection on the device. The only form of internet connection that the learners may use during school hours will be supplied and regulated by the school in the form of Wi-Fi.
Internet usage is a privilege which implies the acceptance of responsibilities and the compulsory submission to the state’s policies and laws. Acceptable use must be legal and ethical and must respect intellectual property, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, individual rights of confidentiality and freedom from intimidation, harassment and offence.
Users will be subject to limitations on their internet usage, as determined by the applicable authority who is in charge. Web content filters will be used to protect the school from improper and indecent material and to limit bandwidth.
Software which filters content will be used to block access to web sites which do not fall within the activities of the school. All web sites containing sexually explicit, as well as indecent and possibly offensive material, will be blocked by means of the WCED web content filter.
The school management reserves the right to investigate the cache files, e-reader, e-reader bookmarks and any other information which is stored on, or accessed through, the school’s computers, without prior consent. In this manner, management’s access will ensure compliance with the internet policy, help with internal investigations and assist in the management of the school.
4 EMAIL POLICY
The school does not guarantee the privacy and confidentiality of any e-mail. E-mail usage which violates this, or any other policy, is prohibited. Any e-mail which does not reflect the image and reputation of the school is prohibited.
The user carries sole responsibility for all communication via his/her designated e-mail address. In e-mails, the concealment or misrepresentation of names, addresses or affiliations is forbidden.
The use of e-mail for commercial purposes is forbidden. Using e-mail with the purpose of abusing, threatening or offending is forbidden. E-mail forms part of the management and administrative history of the school and may therefore be subject to inspection.
The long-term planning must be evaluated and adjusted annually, with regard to the replacing of hardware. The replacement of hardware must take place in consultation with the Financial Committee of the Governing Body, within the predetermined annual budget.
Hardware which is replaced, which no longer satisfies the requirements but is still in a working condition, must be deployed to areas where it is usable or donated as the school sees fit. The IT Inventory must be kept up-to-date with a record of all hardware and guarantees.
In consultation with School Management, an effort must be made to provide the school with the newest technology, in so far as finances permit. Maintenance of hardware will be done internally; however, when necessary, the support of an external company may be contracted in.
The ICT inventory contains a replacement cycle for all tablets and computers in the school. This cycle entails that all computers will be granted a lifetime of 7 years before replacement. Every year new computers and, where applicable, tablets will be bought to replace the older models. These replaced computers and tablets will then be written off for tender, whereafter they can be donated if a tender isn’t received. The new computers will be installed in the computer labs. The computers that are replaced will in turn replace the computers in the classrooms. This ensures that our learners get to work on the newest technology at all times.
Software programs are installed by the IT Department, ahead of time, according to the needs as determined by management. No unlicensed software may be installed by the user. Where the user has a need for licensed software for school use, it must be installed by the IT Department.
Software may not be deleted or deactivated without prior consent from the IT Department. Software may not be copied and used outside of the school. In the instance where the user requires the software for preparation at home, the steps as prescribed by the Departmental agreement with the supplier must be followed.
All software installed on the system must be licensed. Software must be evaluated and upgraded in order to insure the system remains relevant.
A record of all the licence agreements, as well as software licences, will be managed, updated and filed by the IT Department.
7 PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES OR BEHAVIOUR
The following activities and/or behaviour are prohibited:
7.1 The copying of material which is subject to copyright or patent, without appropriate licensing or permission.
7.2 The use of the school’s information systems for political gain, personal gain or commercial purposes.
7.3 The copying or removal of software from the school’s computers.
7.4 The downloading of material from the internet which is not related to official school activities or business.
7.5 The installing of system hardware or software by unauthorised staff. Unlicensed software, private software, games, public domain software, freeware, shareware or demonstration software may under no circumstance be loaded on official computer equipment without the written consent of the Governing Body.
7.6 The use of personal social media during school hours for personal reasons. This includes, but is not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform.
7.7 The use of the school’s information system for offensive or abusive material is prohibited. The following is considered to be computer abuse:
- using the computer to annoy, scare, intimidate, threaten, repulse or to upset through the use of foul language, pictures or other material, or to convey threats of physical or psychological harm to the receiver;
- using the computer to continuously contact a person with the purpose of annoying, abusing, or to upset, regardless of whether any real message is conveyed, and/or where there is no justifiable need for communication, and where the receiver requested that the communication be terminated;
- using the computer to continuously contact a person with regard to a matter where there is no legal right to do so, subsequent to the receiver giving fair notice that he/she no longer wishes to receive such communication;
- using the computer to disrupt or cause damage to the academic research, administrative or related endeavours of the school or another person;
- using the computer to violate the academic or any other privacy of a person, or to use it to threaten the person; and
- using the computer to view, download or distribute material which is sexist, racist and/or violent.
7.8 The viewing or sending of any material which violates any national, provincial or international law.
7.9 The use of the school’s information system to gain unlawful access to any other system
7.10 The gaining of access to and/or the downloading, saving or sending of indecent material via the school’s computer system.
7.11 Every educator and non-educator will receive access to information in so far as is necessary to fulfil his/her delegated function, but will not receive access to information which would otherwise be protected unless and until such time that access is deemed necessary and official permission is granted. Authorised users are responsible for the security of their password and profile.
8 CYBER MISCONDUCT
The following forms of cyber misconduct are prohibited:
- Cyber browsing and the misuse of the employers’ resources: educators, non-educators and learners may not use the school’s resources e.g. computers, telephones, etc., for private use during or after school hours, thereby misusing the work relationship.
- The creating of discord and the spreading of offensive or insulting material: educators, non-educators and learners may not distribute racist, slanderous, sexist or pornographic information. This is considered serious misconduct. Racist comments are not only repulsive, but result in discord.
- Derogatory remarks: educators, non-educators and learners may not distribute or publish insulting and offensive messages about the school, the staff or the learners. Anyone who contravenes may be found guilty of bringing the school’s name into disrepute, which may lead to disciplinary or legal action being taken.
- Breach of confidentiality: educators, non-educators and learners may not use the school’s information system or social media platforms in any way which may tarnish the confidentiality of the school.
- Unofficial use of social media sites when the school’s information system is used.
- Publication of illegal, unethical and disrespectful material. Educators, non-educators and learners may not partake in online communication which may tarnish the name of the school.
- The disclosure of personal information of educators, non-educators, learners and parents. Educators, non-educators, learners and parents must note that the school may, from time to time, share photographs which were taken at official school activities on social media sites. People may then be tagged. Users of these social media sites are advised to revise their security settings. Educators, non-educators and learners are advised to block other users from accessing their profile, where they do not know the other user or do not want to be associated with them.
The school accepts no responsibility or liability for poor security settings on the social media profile of any person associated with the school. In the event that an educator, non-educator, learner or parent publishes a comment, photograph or video on any social media platform which could tarnish the name of the school, and a connection to the school is made or is identified or admitted, such person will be subject to disciplinary and legal steps. Legal steps may also be taken against a parent who brings the school into disrepute.
All information which is published must be accurate and confidential information may not be disclosed. Copyright must be adhered to. Only the official, approved logo of the school may be used.
Statements in the media must first be approved by the Governing Body. All privileges, in so far as the school’s information system is concerned, will be terminated once an educator or non-educator is no longer employed by the school, or where a learner leaves the school. The school reserves the right to withdraw the privileges of any user at any given time.
Behaviour which interferes with the normal and proper functioning of the information systems, has a negative impact on others’ ability to use the information system, or is damaging or offensive to others, is prohibited.
9 SERVER SECURITY
Where possible, all servers which store data and applications will be placed in a physically safe environment with strict access measures in place. All server rooms will be regarded as high risk security areas, with strictly controlled access. All servers will be equipped and protected with the newest, approved anti-virus.
Additional programme improvements and updates will be undertaken regularly by the appointed IT service provider of the school, or the school’s IT specialist, when necessary.
Only an authorised administrator will receive administrative rights for the servers. Administrative passwords will be confidential and only those staff who are nominated by the school will have access to them.
All critical management or administrative data on the local hard drive of computers must be stored under “Staff”. Where possible, if the user is in a location where there is no access to the school’s network, the data must be copied at the first available opportunity. The user will exercise the sole responsibility to back up data security and maintain it.
Servers will be backed up on a weekly basis by the IT service provider of the school, or by the IT specialist. A monthly backup will be stored in the safe.
The CCTV system will seek to comply with the requirements both of the Data Protection Act and the Commissioner’s Code of Practice. The school will treat the system, all information, documents and recordings (both those obtained and those subsequently used) as data protected under the Act. Cameras will be used to monitor activities within the school and its grounds to identify criminal activity occurring, anticipated, or perceived. It will be used for securing the safety and wellbeing of the pupils, staff and school together with its visitors.
Materials or knowledge secured because of CCTV will not be used for any commercial purpose. Images will never be released to the media for purposes of entertainment. The planning and design have endeavoured to ensure that the system will give maximum effectiveness and efficiency, but it is not possible to guarantee that the system will cover or detect every single incident taking place in the areas of coverage. Warning signs, as required by the Code of Practice of the Information Commissioner will be clearly visible on the site.
The CCTV system will be operated 24 hours each day, every day of the year.
- The system will be administered and managed by the school’s IT Administrator who will act as the Data Controller, in accordance with the principles and objectives expressed in the policy.
- The day-to-day management will be the responsibility of both the principal and the IT administrator who will act as the System Manager.
- The system and the data collected will only be available to the Data Controller, the principal and the System Manager.
- Unless an immediate response to events is required, cameras will not be directed at an individual, their property or a specific group of individuals, without authorisation in accordance with the Regulation of Investigatory Power Act 2000.
- The System Manager must satisfy him-/herself of the identity of any person wishing to view images or access the system and the legitimacy of the request. Where any doubt exists, access will be refused.
- Parents may not request to see footage. The case must be reported to the Head of Discipline and follow the normal discipline procedure. The Head of Discipline can submit a request to view the footage to the principal, who will act accordingly.
The following procedure will be followed:
- The case is reported to the principal.
- The principal informs and provides authorisation to the Data Controller to access the system. A formal document will be signed as proof of the delegated responsibility.
- The data controller will view and download the relevant footage.
- The footage will be stored in a secure file structure on the network that can only be accessed by the Data Controller, ICT Administrator and Principal.
11 LAPTOPS (SCHOOL PROPERTY)
South Peninsula High School is in possession of laptops which remain the property of the school at all times. Teachers who received a laptop for their class or subject may use it for personal use and may carry it with them wherever they may be but must be aware that it may be needed by another teacher as well.
Laptops must be used in the classroom as an additional teaching resource, in a constructive manner, for the teaching of the curriculum. The school has the right, with good reason, to retract a teacher’s laptop and to use/ distribute it as deemed fit.
The school has the right to monitor the use of the laptops for any misuse or unauthorised use thereof.
The school accepts no responsibility for any data which may be lost on any of the laptops, for whatever reason, whether intentional or not.
Teachers are responsible for handling the laptops with the necessary care, to prevent the possibility of damage occurring.
Teachers are compelled not to share any password with any learner. Teachers are permitted to download and use their own applications, but must consider the memory of the device, so as not to hamper the functionality of the device by overloading it. The teachers are responsible for remembering the password for their specific device and must keep it safe.
The management of the school has the right to replace any laptops deemed old and not being able to accommodate effective learning. These laptops can be written off, sold or sponsored, whichever accommodates the need of the school.
12 CELLPHONES (NON-LEARNERS)
Teachers may use the schools’ Wi-Fi, with prior consent of the principal.
Access to the worldwide web, email, internet and servers of the school is filtered and managed by the WCED service provider.
Communication via email on the school network cannot be seen as private when used during school hours, school activities, or in the vicinity of the school. This includes any messages, data or media on any devices on the school’s network.
13 CELLPHONES (LEARNERS)
The school acknowledges the following:
- that some parents require their children to have cellphones in order to keep in contact after hours;
- that teachers may require students to use cellphones in their classrooms for educational purposes.
However, the following must be noted.
- Learners stay responsible for their cellphones. The school, teachers, Education Department or any employee of South Peninsula High School will not be held responsible or liable for any damage, loss or theft of any cellphone, or any misconduct that the cellphone was used for.
- Learners’ cellphones have to be switched off during school hours. This applies to breaks as well. If a learner needs to make contact with a parent during school hours for any reason whatsoever, he/she has to report to the office, and the call will be made from there. Cellphones are not allowed to be seen during school hours.
- Cellphones may only be used in the classroom by Grade 12 students only, for academic purposes, under instruction of the teacher. The usage of a cellphone is adjudicated by the teacher, who accepts responsibility for monitoring, control and general usage thereof. In these instances, cellphones are to be switched off and packed away at the end of the lesson.
- If a cellphone rings, or the learner is caught using his/her cellphone, it will be confiscated and locked in the safe until the end of the school term. All relevant details will be recorded in a confiscation register. The learner will sign the confiscation register. If the offence occurs during the last week of the term, it will be handed to the learner at the end of the following term. Parents will be notified by means of a notice, written or electronic, if a learner’s phone is confiscated.
- The use of a cellphone to watch, photograph or store prohibited pictures, photos or any form of pornography is strongly prohibited by the WCED code of conduct. If electronic devices, which include cameras, are used for purposes contrary to the Code of Conduct, the matter will be dealt with in terms of the Code of Conduct. Filming a fight, for example, will be regarded as a Level Three offence on the school’s Code of Conduct and dealt with accordingly.
- Permission to use a cellphone, for reasons other than specified in this policy, may be granted by a teacher if deemed necessary.
Concessions for Grade 12 students during examinations
Grade 12 students will be allowed to make use of cellphones for educational purposes under the following conditions only:
- they can only be used to access and work from downloaded exam papers, or study notes;
- they can only be used during the study session, under the supervision of an invigilator. For the sake of clarification, this means that all cellphones are to be put away as soon as an invigilator indicates the start of an exam session, whether a particular student is writing at that time or not;
- they can only be used in the hall.
Any deviation from the above, for instance the use of cellphones to access websites which are not directly related to their schoolwork, to make use of social media, to listen to music, or in any other way which is in contravention of the policy outlined above, will be dealt with in terms of the relevant section of the School’s Code of Conduct.
Cellphones on camps or other outings
Learners should preferably not take cellphones on camps, as interaction with each other and general awareness of the environment are encouraged. If urgent contact needs to be made with a parent, a teacher will make the necessary call. It is recognised, however, that, for many learners, photographs are taken by means of the cellphone, rather than a camera. In cases such as these, the use will be carefully monitored.
Any learner on a camp, outing or tour who is found guilty of any misconduct (relating to cellphone usage) as mentioned in this policy will have his/her phone confiscated immediately for the rest of the camp, outing or tour.
Parents of the group will be notified of important information via the school’s communication system.
Under no circumstances will learners be allowed to use their cellphones to place orders for food to be delivered. If this should happen, the phone, as well as the food, will be confiscated.
South Peninsula High School allows the wearing of a smart watch to be used as a watch and for safety purposes. Learners may not use a wifi or data connection during school hours. This applies to breaks as well.
If the smart watch only has a GPS tracking function it will be permitted and not treated as a normal smart watch. These types of watches could be seen as “safety watches”.
Notwithstanding the above, smart watches are not allowed to be worn during examinations.
14 OWNERSHIP AND PRIVACY
In order to manage the safety and welfare of all involved parties, as well as the integrity of the school management systems, the school retains the right to intercept any information, messages, photos or pictures that are created, received, sent, read on any device, during or at any school represented activity, even if the device is not in use.
It is a condition that, with the signing of this policy, permission is given to South Peninsula High School that the school may investigate any email account, electronic device, as well as social platforms/media, and any user that is suspected of suspicious behaviour on any of above mentioned. Reports from eye witnesses may also be investigated.
If it is suspected, within reasonable limits, and according to an eye witness’s report, that any person who is not using his/her cellphone in compliance with this policy, a designated person may, under instruction of the principal, examine the information on the cellphone. If any evidence is found of any misconduct, it has to be reported to the principal. He/she may decide to look further into the matter, by means of a internal disciplinary process, or report it to the Governing Body, School Psychologist, Social Worker, Department of Education or the Police, whichever is appropriate.
15 ACCEPTANCE OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
Any user of the school’s IT systems will be obliged to follow the prescribed procedures and to take reasonable steps to protect information dealt with through the system, as well as any other sensitive assets.
The user accepts sole responsibility for all material which is viewed, stored or sent via the school-based computers. The school, however, expects all users to abide by the school rules. Failure to do so may culminate in the suspension or retraction of a user’s privileged access, as well as disciplinary steps being taken, including the possibility of civil and/or criminal accountability.
Educators and non-educators who fail to comply with this policy will be subject to disciplinary proceedings, whether in accordance with the grievance and disciplinary procedures of the school or those of the Department of Basic Education. Learners who do not comply with this policy will be subject to the school’s Code of Conduct for learners.
16 POLICY AMENDMENTS
The school’s Governing Body may from time to time amend, supplement, adapt or change this policy.
Parents will receive this policy and all related arrangements regarding cellphones and their usage in the beginning of each new year. Parents have to sign this policy to acknowledge receipt and understanding of this policy and its contents regarding cellphones.
UNDERTAKING OF COMPLIANCE
I, (name) …………………………………………………….., a student in (class) …………. at South Peninsula High School, hereby state that I understand the contents of the school’s ICT Policy. I accept and agree to abide by the terms and conditions set out therein.
PARENT’S/GUARDIAN’S NAME: …………………………………………………..
PARENT’S/GUARDIAN’S SIGNATURE: …………………………………………..